Digital Dads NFL Pre-Game 2012: Week 14

Only a few more weeks left in the NFL season and I just realized that my playoffs in both fantasy leagues don’t start til next week, though I believe I have clinched both, or at least one. But enough about me, how are you doing? Meh, I really don’t care, let’s talk about football.

This week we’ve got some seriously good match-ups, with playoff implications. Of course any team with a winning record has the playoffs on the mind. Already Atlanta, Houston, Denver and the Patriots have clinched, and it’s only week 14. Which means what, they’ll be resting their starters? Hardly, especially in the case of the Patriots, who will be playing their starters until they are knocked out of the playoffs, or win the Superbowl.

So, I don’t really have much else to say on a general front, so let’s get right into the picks for week 14. I’ll try to wrap this up quick so you can go back to whatever you were trying to avoid doing.

Denver at Oakland +10.5
Let’s see, already clinched the playoffs, have Peyton Manning or the team that just lost to Cleveland? Obviously, Denver to win. Here’s the rub with Manning though – is he winning too much? With the Colts, the break in-between winning the division & the second round of the playoffs seemed to take the air out of Manning, will this happen again this year? We’ll just have to wait and see.

St. Louis at Buffalo -3.0 CRAPFEST OF THE WEEK!!
The Rams were 29 seconds away from tying the Niners again this season. That would have been nuts eh? These two teams have moments of explosiveness, the Rams on defense, the Bills on offense, but I’m wondering if they will ever be playoff caliber teams. Already ruled out, they are just playing for contracts at this point. I can’t imagine Fisher is on the hot seat, but I know Gailey is. I have to take the Bills in weather though, as the Rams do tend to suffer from plays-in-dome-itis.

Dallas at Cincinnati -3.0
The Bengals are on a tear lately, solid running game and overall defense. The Chargers really didn’t stand much of a chance. And honestly, neither will Dallas. I know, you Cowboys fans think highly of your team and Romo tends to do better in the winter months, but just watch, the Benagals are going to slaughter the Cowboys in the turnover department. Not to mention the Cowboys corners tend to give up a lot in the middle. I’m taking the Bengals, and not just cause A.J. Green is on my fantasy team.

Kansas City at Cleveland -6.5
I think this is the first time all season that I’ve seen Cleveland favored. Regardless, the Chiefs may have pulled out a win last week, but for both these teams any win now is too little too late. The Browns have been coming strong all season, just finding a way to lose games late. I think this week they find a way to win one handily against the struggling Chiefs, which will be nice for a franchise that is already coach shopping.

Tennessee at Indianapolis -5.5
The Colts no longer need figurative luck, the have real Luck and this kid is the real deal. His final drive against the Lions last week, and that final play to win the game was seriously legit and I can’t wait to see this kid and this newly dynamic team in the playoffs. They should have no problem handing the Titans this week, who are generally too busy shooting themselves in the foot to win any games. And Chris Johnson? Yeah, how’s that money working out for ya? Colts to win.

Chicago at Minnesota +3.0
Don’t fret! The Bears are still legit. The Seahawks are just unpredictable. Russel Wilson is the real deal and can move, the Bears weren’t prepared for that. They will be prepared for the leagues best rushing in Adrian Peterson, but I can see the Vikings putting some unexpected points on the Bears this weekend. I’m not saying don’t play the Bears D in fantasy, I’m just saying don’t expect a blowout. A great divisional match-up, I think the dome makes a difference. Cutler will be majestic. Bears to win.

San Diego at Pittsburgh -0.0
It sounds weird, but Philip Rivers reminds me of Charlie Batch. Or is it the other way around? Anyway, Batch got a win for the first time on the road without Big Ben, but I don’t see them doing it this week. I know, the Steelers defense has been amazing, especially blocking the pass, and the Chargers don’t have any running game to speak of, but for some reason, after giving up eight turnovers to the Browns in week 12, I somehow see the San Diego defense turning the tide. I’d pick this as an upset special, but the line is zero. Chargers to win.

Philadelphia at Tampa Bay -7.5
The Eagles suck. Fire everyone. Bucs to win.

Baltimore at Washington -2.5
This is an interesting game. After beating the Giants, the Skins are 6-6 and only one game behind in the division. That’s how crummy the NFC is this year. The Ravens, at 9-3 are trying to hold off the Steelers and the surging Bengals, both at 7-5. So this game is a must-win for both teams here. So who wins? The Ravens rush Rice as much as possible, the Ravens win. RGIII keeps his head on against a terrific defensive front, the Skins win. After seeing his poise under pressure last week, and the fact that unlike Vick, RGIII can actually pass while running, I’m taking the Redskins at home.

Atlanta at Carolina +3.5
Atlanta has been in a lot of tight games this season and has received a lot of criticism for not being a legit playoff team, having faced many opponents with losing records. Perhaps the critics are right, but we’ll see come the playoffs. This week, another losing record comes to town, bringing with them an unpredictable offense. Will Cam stay patient and throw to Steve Smith? Will he run? Thankfully, unlike RGIII, Cam hasn’t learned that patience that running QB’s need to have. Atlanta and the Falcons defense to win on the road.

NY Jets at Jacksonville +2.5 UPSET SPECIAL!!
The Jets have announced that Sanchez will be starting this week against the Jags, even though their season is hopeless and Rex Ryan is clearly in denial. Should have started Tebow when they had the chance. There is hope for the future, as rookie McElroy got the win last week. So wait, why isn’t he starting over the listless Sanchez? Because Rex Ryan has lost his fucking mind. Remember that denial thing? He’s in it. Deep. The Jets aren’t going to want to play at home again this season after inexplicably losing to the Jags this weekend.

Miami at San Francisco -10.0
The Niners, at one point a lock for the playoffs now look like they could be watching from the outside. Losing to the Rams in overtime didn’t help. The Dolphins aren’t statistically ruled out for the playoffs, but a lot of other teams would have to suck pretty hard. I like the Fins, but I don’t think they win 3000 miles from home. Niners to win. And gash the Dolphins on the ground.

New Orleans at NY Giants -5.0
The Giants can’t afford to lose another game, but you know what – they can. Sneaking into the playoffs at 9-7 last year, they won the Superbowl. They could do the same thing this year as crummy as the NFC is. Or is it parity? Whatever. The Saints still are having trouble in the secondary, just seeming confused on anything outside the zone. Eli should be able to take advantage of that. Certainly, if you have any Giants receivers, start ‘em. Giants to win at home.

Arizona at Seattle -10.0
At 5-8, the Cards join the Lions, Panthers and Eagles as teams that are definitely going to miss the playoffs this year. The Cardinals looked terrible last week, not knowing if they actually wanted to keep the ball. The Hawks beat the Bears and are on a tear, looking to steal the division from the Niners. Easy choice in the loudest stadium in the NFL. Hawks to win.

Detroit at Green Bay -7.0
Lambeau field in the winter? Yeah, Packers to win. I wonder who that dirtbag Suh is going to kick in the balls this week? Money says Aaron Rodgers gets into it with him.

Houston at New England -4.0 GAME OF THE WEEK!!
Tell you why this is my game of the week, because even though both teams have clinched the playoffs and their respective divisions, neither has clinched top seed. Well, that isn’t as important anymore, except the Patriots certainly play better at home. They are 9-3, the Texans are 11-1 so they have to win this game, and I think they do. I like the Texans and they have a fantastic running game, powerful air attack and great defense. The Patriots have, well, Tom Brady. Even without Gronk, the Patriots still score at will, and I think they score more than the Texans this week. Plus, this will be a high scoring game, so that should be fun to watch. Pats to win.

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Curtis Silver writes about sports here mostly. NFL, Golf, Baseball - whatever. Find him on Twitter @cebsilver, if you've got a bone to pick.

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